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When it comes to teens, YouTube is winning and Facebook is dying
A new Pew Research Center study shows teens are using Facebook far less than in previous years. - photo by Amy Iverson
The slow demise of Facebook use for younger users is finally official in a new survey from Pew Research Center. Only about half (51 percent) of U.S. teens now say they use Facebook, when just a few years ago in the Centers survey, Facebook was the most popular social media site for those ages 13 to 17. Now YouTube claims that title, with 85 percent of teens saying they use it. Instagram (owned by Facebook) comes in second with 72 percent and Snapchat is close behind at 69 percent.

Mind you, the Center didn't include YouTube in its 2014-2015 survey, so these numbers dont necessarily show that teens are using YouTube more than they did a few years ago. But it is clear they arent using Facebook as much.

Facebooks trending topics feature will no longer be part of what you see online. It was intended to help users find interesting topics that people were sharing, but werent necessarily showing up in one's feed. Facebook notices when a lot of people post articles about a certain topic, and whether or not they garner much engagement. A lot of likes and comments on a shared article encourages Facebook to consider it a trending topic. This feature hasnt always been available in every area, and Facebook has announced it wont be available at all starting this week.

Few people were using it anyway, with Facebook admitting a feature on trending topics only translated to less than 1.5 percent of clicks to that publisher. Look for a new Today section, though, that will connect users to content from local news, officials and organizations.

You'll no longer see trending topics on Facebook, and you will also no longer see posts in chronological order on Instagram. The social media platform says it will continue using its secret formula in deciding what users see and when they see it on their feed. According to The Verge, Instagram product lead Julian Gutman recently explained to a group of reporters how the algorithm works. The algorithm's three main factors are relationship, interest and recency. The Verge reports that newer posts will get pushed to the top of the feed, as will content from people with whom a user has had a lot of Instagram interaction.

While social media platforms make changes to grab the attention of users, teens are still conflicted about whether social media, in general, is a good or bad thing for people their age. The Pew Research Center survey released last week found 31 percent of teens find social media to be mostly positive, helping to connect them with friends and family. But 24 percent say the effect is mostly negative with bullying and rumor spreading as the top reasons they give it a thumbs down.

Whether positive or negative, social media isnt going anywhere, with 95 percent of teens in the survey saying they have a smartphone or have access to one. Looks like smartphone world domination is nearly complete.